11-14 May 2005: Jalalabad Riots

Jalabad Riots by SSgt Michael D. Fay

Jalabad Riots by SSgt Michael D. Fay

“Civil demonstrations (that occasionally turned violent) sparked by the Newsweek article on the alleged Guantanamo Bay incident occurred in the Nangarhar, Laghman, Khowst, Gardez, Ghazni, Kandahar, Takar, Logar, and Herat Provinces.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005


3/3 Command Chronology

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“In response to an inaccurate Newsweek article, Mullahs, educators, and Islamic students staged large demonstrations in the city of Jalal Abad, Nangarhar Province on 11 May. The demonstrations turned destructive in some areas as tires and vehicles were burned, rocks were thrown, looting occurred, and several United Nations’ compounds were targeted. America’s Battalion stood postured to respond at the request of the Governor, but patiently directed ANP and then ANA forces to disperse the demonstrations and restore order in the city. The Battalion Commander met with the Governor of Nangarhar, Haji Din Mohammed and the provincial police chief, General Hazrat Ali to discuss the riots. Both believed that the events in Jalal Abad were, in fact, not riots but planned and orchestrated attacks on the NGO and government buildings. Both also believed that the attacks were directed by a handful of AQAM exploiting some radical students. Simultaneous riots in several Afghan cities, using the alleged Koran flushing incident as a pretext, seemed to support their assessment. In the aftermath of the demonstrations, the Governor spoke with a Shura of 62 Mullahs who then condemned the attacks; visited the fundamentalist Bajazi Mosque and gained their condemnation of the attacks; met with effected business owners whose businesses suffered damage; orchestrated the Jalal Abad elders’ apology to the UN and the Pakistan Consulate and their offer to repair the damages; and made an appearance to announce the conduct of a MOl investigation and the formation of a commission to address grievances with the government in a non-violent forum. The Governor also offered the two guesthouses of his complex to the UN as offices until their building could be repaired. The Governor expressed his concern of the departure of most aid organizations and the fact that the attackers burned a mosque, several Korans, and the Shura Office – all clear anti-Islamic actions – that capitalized on the hypocrisy of those who participated in the attacks because of the alleged Guantanamo Bay incident. The Coalition and GOA also exploited the fact that Afghan Security Forces handled this situation on their own, without the involvement of Coalition Forces, which could have dramatically escalated the grievances of those involved.

“The Governor stated that four were killed and 65 wounded / injured (of which six were police).  The number of participants was estimated at approximately 500. The ANP detained and questioned 27 individuals; and questioned the 59 wounded participants to ascertain the lcadership that instigated the event. Combined Task Force Trinity then focused on posturing and rehearsing the ANA for assisting the ANP in meeting threats, such as riots, within the Province, to include the downtown area of Jalal Abad.  Kabul also sent the National Chief of ANP, 150 extra policemen and an MOI investigation team to assist Governor Din Mohammed. Predictably, the Governor requested that the Coalition suspend significant operations until he could get a complete assessment of the events. The Battalion continued security patrols the outlying areas and in coordination with the ANP and ANA. In those areas where riots were anticipated, CTF Trinity requested presence patrols by the ANP and ANA with Coalition Forces standing by to assist as necessary.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005


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Categories: Afghan Security Forces, Featured, FOB Jalal Abad, H&S Company, India Company, Khowst Province, Laghman Province, Lima Company, Logar Province, Nangarhar Province, Photographs, Weapons Company | Tags: , , ,

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